Woman writing in her diary at sunsetI’ve been tagged in the My Writing Process Blog Tour by Patricia Grace King. Check out what Patricia’s been up to at http://www.patriciagraceking.com/.

The blog is a relay that involves answering four question and then naming the authors who will follow. So here we go;

 What am I working on?

I’m on the third revision of my novel, set during the Harlem Renaissance, called Cora’s Kitchen. I thought I would be done by now, but my role as Editor in Chief at Minerva Rising has made it challenging to find time for my own writing. But now, I’m more determined than ever to get back in the chair and finish my work. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Cora’s Kitchen would be classified as historical fiction. It differs other novels in that genre because it is about an African-American woman, who has the opportunity to pursue her dream. The Harlem Renaissance was an exciting period in our history. African-Americans were making great strides in the arts. The majority of the historical novels written about African-Americans focus on racism and oppression, but I prefer to write about the universality of being a woman.  

Why do I write what I do?

I’m all about empowering women. That is why I started Minerva Rising and why I love to write about women developing their potential and becoming self-actualized. It’s my hope that someone will read my novel and find hope and encouragement to pursue her dream. 

How does your writing process work? 

I’ve found that I am the most productive when I start my writing sessions in prayer. It puts everything in proper perspective and sets the tone for my day. Then I spend ten to fifteen minutes free writing to focus my mind. Sometimes just let the pen flow, recording my thoughts. Other times, I try to answer questions that arose from my last writing session.  I generally set an intention of either how much time I’m going to spend on writing or what I need to accomplish to be released from my desk.

Lately, I’ve been using this Focus Time app that breaks up my time into twenty-five-minute segments. It’s called the Pompodoro method. It’s really helpful when I’m struggling to keep my butt in the chair. I don’t allow myself to get up until I’ve completed a segment, then I take a five minute break. I often find myself not wanting to stop for my break, but I find I can work longer if I stand up and walk around. It’s as if I’m taking a mental stretch.  My goal is to complete four – twenty-five minute segments a day. and start writing, the words    

So that’s my process. Here’s who’s up next 

Ann Hedreen is a writer, teacher, filmmaker and voice of the KBCS radio commentary, The Restless Nest. Ann’s memoir about her mother’s younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease called Her Beautiful Brain will be available 2014. She and her husband Rustin Thompson own White Noise Productions. Together, they have made more than 100 films, many of which have been seen on PBS and other TV stations all over the world and some of which have won Emmys and other awards. They have two grown-up children and live in south Seattle. 

Ann blogs at: http://therestlessnest.wordpress.com/

Emily Shearer is a poet, yoga teacher and the Poetry Editor at Minerva Rising Literary Journal. She has been captivated by a desire to recreate the feeling of awe that poetry stirs in the soul. Her poetry has been published both on-line and in print at sol(e) literary journal, WritingtheWhirlwind.com, Minerva Rising, Mercury Retrograde and literarymama.com. 

Emily writes fiction and poetry both, and chronicle her life as a writer, mom and yogini at lineupyourducks.com.

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